Friday, April 3, 2020

Looking for hope

Some days I feel like I am crushing this online learning "thing" with my own home routine but some days it looks a lot like hell. I know many of you are feeling this way also. As a teacher that act of going off to work Monday - Friday kept most every day compacted with very specific roles. I did often bring work home to get a large project finished but in this new pandemic world my work day is often very mixed in with my home life which was fairly active but quiet. I feel like I have dozens of balls in the air and I'm multitasking too much. Some of my questions are: am I spending too much time on school work, how can I do the school work more efficiently, and how do I figure out new technologies to make this flow?  I wonder about starting a book club online via Google Classroom for students in upper elementary to access when they want, will they access it?  I don't want to be doing extra work and have students already engaged with too much through their classroom teachers, maker space challenges put out by our district, and activities from other special teams. Plus I have a few special students that I am constantly worrying about...

{Online dance class T-Th}
It helps when I start most days with a little bit of yoga and getting dressed.  So Monday-Friday I am going to just get that on my calendar and do it.  And then I want to set up a school day that I can deal with mixed in with taking care of my family. My husband and his crew were all laid off from our community theatre and so he is often bouncing around the house, moving from project to project, and he has Zoom meetings which is two steps above the tech chain for him so I invariably have to help him get on and he has to use my MacBook Air b/c his old MacBook is too old for Zoom.

My daughter, our beloved Groovy Girl, has already emotionally had a tough year and then this happens! Like for real, it is too much for her to bear.  She's had a week of online dance classes that went okay but I honestly don't think she is getting much schoolwork done. For someone suffering from anxiety or depression this is major ordeal.  I thought she would love it but she is spending too much time in her bed bemoaning the loss of her senior year.  We are working with her on creating a schedule for herself and breaking the day up into manageable pieces. How is this all working for you? From preschoolers to teenagers to college students this pandemic will have such long lasting affects for our children going beyond who gets it and who doesn't.

Good food is a huge draw in our family so I made her a Dutch Baby Pancake to cheer her spirits and it did for about one hour.

I share with you today a lovely poem by the amazing poet Mary Oliver:

“Wild Geese”

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things. ~Mary Oliver
I love her writing and hope this poem can cheer you even for an hour or two. We will get through this together and we will be smarter for what we've learned. 

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